'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

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Simon36
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Simon36 »

I would hazard a guess that The Parachute's move to Play of the Month was because it was felt it deserved that more prestigious slot, as I would think POTM was viewed as at the time. POTM was usually a televising of a theatre favourite, but it did occasionally showcase new work, and with the combo of Mercer writing and Osborne starring, and it being a a product of such quality (it won the Prix Italia that year), perhaps that move was considered an accolade.


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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by bent_halo »

Good stuff, Billy. I noticed the other day that Cathy Come Home is now available on Region 'A' Blu-Ray, as part of the Criterion edition of Kes. Is that the first TWP on BD?

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

I've added all of the Alan Clarke At The BBC titles to the list at the top of this thread.

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Simon36
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Simon36 »

And 36 Play for Todays on BBC Store now, Still Waters and Back of Beyond just added, and with more to come!

https://store.bbc.com/play-for-today

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Billy Smart
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

This is a surprise - The Cheviot, The Stag & The Black, Black Oil on blu-ray! - https://www.panamint.co.uk/panamint-blu ... il-blu-ray

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Simon36 »

Amazing!

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Billy Smart
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

I've added last year's releases of The Fishing Party and The Imitation Game to the list at the top of this thread.

Wouldn't it be good if some more Play For Today DVD titles were released as part of next year's fiftieth anniversary?

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by spflog1 »

I'd love to see Stocker's Copper released. It's a Play for Today episode from 1972, telling the story of a strike by Cornish clay miners in 1913. Gareth Thomas is in a lead role as one of the policemen being shipped in to deal with the problem.

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

Billy Smart wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:03 pm
Wouldn't it be good if some more Play For Today DVD titles were released as part of next year's fiftieth anniversary?
And, indeed, they are coming... This BFI announcement - https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/new ... unced-2020 - includes the welcome news:
DVD/Blu-ray: BEST OF PLAY FOR TODAY VOL.1
I particularly like "Volume 1"!

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

The BFI have announced the plays to be included on Play For Today: Volume One:

The Lie (Written by Ingmar Bergman / Dir. Alan Bridges, 1970)
Shakespeare or Bust (Written by Peter Terson / Dir. Brian Parker, 1973)
Back of Beyond (Written by Julia Jones, Dir. Desmond Davis, 1974)
Passage to England (Written by Leon Griffiths / Dir. John Mackenzie, 1975)
Our Flesh and Blood (Written by Mike Stott / Dir. Pedr James, 1977)
A Photograph (Written by John Bowen / Dir. John Glenister, 1977)
Your Man from Six Counties (Written by Colin Welland / Dir. Barry Davis, 1976)

Five of the plays (the ones on film) have been restored from the negatives.

(I surmise from this that Volume Two will be plays from 1977-84.)

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Mark »

Great to see some being released.
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Simon36 »

Billy Smart wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:22 am
The BFI have announced the plays to be included on Play For Today: Volume One:

The Lie (Written by Ingmar Bergman / Dir. Alan Bridges, 1970)
Shakespeare or Bust (Written by Peter Terson / Dir. Brian Parker, 1973)
Back of Beyond (Written by Julia Jones, Dir. Desmond Davis, 1974)
Passage to England (Written by Leon Griffiths / Dir. John Mackenzie, 1975)
Our Flesh and Blood (Written by Mike Stott / Dir. Pedr James, 1977)
A Photograph (Written by John Bowen / Dir. John Glenister, 1977)
Your Man from Six Counties (Written by Colin Welland / Dir. Barry Davis, 1976)

Five of the plays (the ones on film) have been restored from the negatives.

(I surmise from this that Volume Two will be plays from 1977-84.)
It’s an odd selection in some ways but a good one. It’s especially good that Back of Beyond, a very obscure piece, is surfacing, and will be restored, as it’s a very visual piece. It’s not Julia Jones’ best play (it’s much more of a mood piece than a dialogue driven one) but it’s a fascinating little film.

Your Man from Six Counties is similarly one of the lesser-known pieces, Welland’s last for the series. Shakespeare or Bust is probably the best of the Fishing Party trilogy, a lovely, eccentric little gem.

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

I get the feeling that Your Man From Six Counties got remembered as an Irish play, rather than Welland one. It's one of the most cinematic PFT stories in intention, with its use of spectacular landscape and climax at a local geographical feature. It's a particularly good choice for a play to restore, as it is a story that could really do without the murk and hairs of a 1970s 16mm print in order to be told to full effect.

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Mark »

It's a shame "Traitor" never gets a look in, incredible performance from John Le Mesurier.

I'm sure BBC Four gave it a screening years ago.
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Simon36 »

Billy Smart wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:50 am
I get the feeling that Your Man From Six Counties got remembered as an Irish play, rather than Welland one. It's one of the most cinematic PFT stories in intention, with its use of spectacular landscape and climax at a local geographical feature. It's a particularly good choice for a play to restore, as it is a story that could really do without the murk and hairs of a 1970s 16mm print in order to be told to full effect.
I agree. It’s a very fine piece. Never repeated, something Welland had theories aBout.

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

The box set won't be the only 50th anniversary Play For Today activity taking place this autumn. I don't know if the BFI Southbank season that was to have gone ahead in September will still occur in some form, but Illuminations have been making a BBC4 documentary about the strand. They have a Play For Today Twitter feed giving details of their progress and links to related matters - https://twitter.com/PlayforToday_20 .

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

The Forgotten Television Drama site are running an occasional series of blogs to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary, considering some of the less well-known or critically-neglected productions.

An excellent general piece by John Hill, 'Play For Today at Fifty', ( https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... day-at-50/ ) has been followed by four articles so far -

Simon Farquhar on John Osborne's The Right Prospectus (1970) ( https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... rospectus/ )

Lez Cooke on David Halliwell's Steps Back (1973) ( https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... teps-back/ )

James Oldham on Dennis Potter's Traitor (1971) ( https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... y-traitor/ )

Simon Farquhar on Douglas Livingstone's I Can't See My Little Willie (1970) ( https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... le-willie/ )

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

Another Forgotten Television Drama Play For Today piece: Tom May on David Edgar's Baby Love (1974) - https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... baby-love/

Tom May has already written about David Edgar and Play For Today, in a three part examination of Destiny (1978), which starts here - http://www.britishtelevisiondrama.org.uk/?p=7040

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

BBFC certifications confirmed -

The Lie (15, domestic abuse)
Shakespeare or Bust (12, moderate sex references)
Back of Beyond (12, suicide)
Passage to England (15, racist language)
Our Flesh and Blood (PG, mild bad language, sex references, childbirth scenes)
A Photograph (12, moderate sex references, suicide references, threat, violence)
Your Man from Six Counties (12, infrequent discriminatory terms)

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Mark »

Billy Smart wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:00 pm
BBFC certifications confirmed -

The Lie (15, domestic abuse)
Shakespeare or Bust (12, moderate sex references)
Back of Beyond (12, suicide)
Passage to England (15, racist language)
Our Flesh and Blood (PG, mild bad language, sex references, childbirth scenes)
A Photograph (12, moderate sex references, suicide references, threat, violence)
Your Man from Six Counties (12, infrequent discriminatory terms)
Excellent, although the censor descriptions sound like an average edition of "News At Ten".

Read the essay on "Traitor" so far, an excellent piece, especially the contrast with "The End Of The Line", I wonder what other productions used that painting, probably turned up in a fair few programmes.
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

Another new Play for Today at 50 post: '‘Tender Contempt’: Dennis Potter’s Love-Hate Relationship with Play for Today' by John Cook - https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... for-today/

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Billy Smart »

There's a good - if measured - 2013 essay by John Wheatcroft about The Lie: http://www.britishtelevisiondrama.org.uk/?p=3526

You can tell by the very qualified prose style that this is PhD research, but its a sound reading of the tensions in Nuts In May: ‘Get Back to Your Tenements!’ – Mike Leigh’s Nuts in May by Kev Bickerdike: https://spaceandbritishhorrorcinema.wor ... ts-in-may/

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

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The latest of the Forgotten Television Drama 'Play for Today at 50' articles: The Dominick Hide plays by Philip Braithwaite - https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... ide-plays/

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

Post by Mark »

That's good, taped those on first TX, had a quick scan of it, will give that a proper read.

There was also, Play Of The Week's, "Stargazy On Zummerdown", wonderfully weird, I'm rather fond of that one!
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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

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Billy Smart wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:27 pm
The latest of the Forgotten Television Drama 'Play for Today at 50' articles: The Dominick Hide plays by Philip Braithwaite - https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpr ... ide-plays/
Is THAT what Dominick Hyde is about? I've had a copy for the last 15 years; must watch it.

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

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A terrific London Review of Books blog post by Robert Hanks: On Penda's Fen - https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/septemb ... enda-s-fen

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

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The BFI have announced that they are doing a season along with the Blu-ray with eight screenings from mid-October to end November, plus a YouTube online event of some description:
Play for Today

15 October 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first episode of the seminal anthology drama series Play for Today, which comprised broadcasts of more than 300 one-off television plays on the BBC between 1970 and 1984. Demonstrating the single drama’s potential to engage mass audiences with social comment and artistic experimentation, Play for Today featured work by some of the UK’s most important writers, directors and producers, including Mike Leigh, Alan Clarke, David Rose, Margaret Matheson, Dennis Potter and many more.

The BFI will celebrate this milestone anniversary with a dedicated season of screenings at BFI Southbank, featuring titles such as Brassneck (1975), directed by Mike Newell and adapted by Howard Brenton and David Hare from their 1973 play; Ladies (1980), starring a largely female ensemble cast including June Brown and Patsy Rowlands; and A Hole in Babylon (1979), directed by Horace Ové and starring T-Bone Wilson and Carmen Munroe. There will be an online event to launch the season on BFI YouTube featuring special guests (to be announced soon), and a BFI Blu-ray collection, Play for Today: Volume One, released on 19 October. Almost half of the surviving plays are also available to view for free in the Mediatheque at BFI Southbank, from familiar titles such as Abigail’s Party (1977) and Rumpole of the Bailey (1975) to programmes that have rarely or never screened since their original broadcast.

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Re: 'The Wednesday Play'/'Play For Today' on DVD

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First of a series of articles from Illuminations about the making of the documentary. I don't think that anyone has seen the mysterious Michael Regan since the 1972 repeat! - https://www.illuminationsmedia.co.uk/ma ... rting-out/

We learn from this that there is also to be a Radio 4 documentary at the time of the release.

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